New movies this week
The gist: An adaptation of the novel about the Bondurant brothers, Virginians who ran moonshine during Prohibition. Lots of cops and mobsters, guns and white lightning, testosterone and blood and guts. R
The cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Noah Taylor and Bill Camp.
The buzz: This is for you if a period crime drama is your cup of tea, or Mason jar of mountain dew. "Hillcoat's ultra-violent drama plays like a hot, sweaty, delusional fever dream and is similarly fitful. It can be visceral and operatic, beautiful and brutal but also slow and overlong," the AP says.
The gist: A couple's youngest daughter buys an antique box at a yard sale, but unfortunately the box contains an evil spirit that takes over and eventually devours its human host. And you thought Disney's obnoxious Princess culture was bad for little girls. PG-13
The cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Grant Show, Natasha Calis and Matisyahu.
The buzz: Derivative. Sort of scary. "Keep a close eye on what your children buy at yard sales, suggests The Possession, a ho-hum exorcism chiller that tries to spice up a formulaic screenplay by converting a predominantly Catholic-fixated horror subgenre to Judaism," Variety notes.
Robot & Frank
The gist: A retired cat burglar looks headed for the nursing home until his son buys him a robot caretaker. So what does he do? Use the robot to commit crimes, natch. PG-13
The cast: Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Sisto and the voice of Peter Sarsgaard.
The buzz: An odd buddy movie that works more often than not. "Robot & Frank reminds quirk-hardened veterans that an odd premise and big heart don't have to add up to too-precious awards bait," The Hollywood Reporter says.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
The gist: A married pair of high school sweethearts are growing apart, so they decide to divorce even though the guy is still in love with the girl. Then the girl changes her mind, but it might be too late. Will they ever work things out?!? R
The cast: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Chris Messina, Emma Roberts, Ari Graynor and Elijah Wood.
The buzz: Indie rom-coms, it seems, can be just as shallow and pointless and fun to watch as mainstream rom-coms. "The movie feels lived in by its characters and its makers, which is more than you can say for most romantic comedies, indie or otherwise," the Boston Globe says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org